Frontier refuses to repay government $4.7M in grant money
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Frontier Communications is refusing to return $4.7 million in grant money that the federal government says the state overpaid as part of a broadband internet extension project.
Frontier sent a letter to state Chief Technology Officer John Dunlap earlier this week, telling him that the funds are “of course, not recoverable from Frontier,” The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported .
As part of the $126 million project, Frontier said it built 675 miles (1,085 kilometers) of broadband fiber to reach underserved regions of the state and connected community anchor institutions including schools, libraries, health care providers and police.
The federal Office of Inspector General had accused Frontier in a report of having about $465,000 in “unreasonable” invoice processing fees and charging at least $4.24 million in “unallowable” indirect charges. That report had prompted the U.S. Commerce Department to send Frontier a letter in August, demanding that the funds be returned.
Frontier said it only agreed to the project after state officials promised to reimburse the company for all direct and indirect costs. It also said its administrative costs were proper and any reimbursement issues resulted from state miscommunications with the grants administrator.
Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.